Flow visualization studies over a UCAV 1303 model
Chua, Weng Heng.
Chandrasekhara, M. S.
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This study is a qualitative documentation of the main flow features that affect the aerodynamic performance under steady and unsteady maneuver conditions. The relevant fluid flow physics is not available presently and, hence, this thesis concentrated on generating those critical details. Towards this goal, model studies were conducted on the United States Air Force (USAF) geometry, described as same UCAV 1303, which is essentially a flying wing in the Naval Postgraduate School (NPS) water tunnel using dye-flow visualization technique. This study adapted the UCAV model 1303 for the NPS water tunnel by incorporating multiple ports for dye injection and was manufactured using rapid prototyping techniques. To obtain conditionally sampled flow images, especially for unsteady flow conditions, special phase locking circuitry was designed, fabricated and integrated with high resolution digital cameras and tunnel flow monitoring software. Flow visualization images at various Reynolds numbers, model attitudes and pitch rates were obtained. Strong vortical flow was observed as expected for a 47 degree delta-wing. The shallow sweep angle and tail-less geometry seemed to present some unusual aerodynamic characteristics in regard to vortex bursting.